My Many Identities: Speaking More Than One Language

I know we all have different versions of ourselves. We have the version of lounging at home on the couch, we have our social selves and we have our work persona. But when it comes to speaking more than one language, I feel like I also have different identities.
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Tips to Learn a Foreign Language

It has been two and a half years since I moved to France and something I am very proud of is how quickly I have been able to learn French. I studied French in high school, but the American system is not particularly great in teaching foreign languages. I left high school with a basic understanding of vocabulary and grammar. My French was practically barbaric when I arrived (and something that my first French family LOVED to point out, but if I mentioned their Spanish or English, they weren’t too thrilled when I corrected them). Continue reading “Tips to Learn a Foreign Language”

You Don’t Know How Smart I Am

I grew up with a mother who had an accent. I remember a time when we were in the pool and she was speaking to me in Spanish (because our relationship is in Spanish) and someone told her to speak in English because she was in America. I remember at times having to translate her English so people could understand what she was trying to say. I never understood her frustration at times, because understood my mother. I loved her accent. I wanted it at times because I thought it was the best sound in the world, coming home with friends who had never met her and surprised at my Spanish background (because I obviously don’t “look” like someone who speaks Spanish). It was something that made my mother unique (out of obviously the other countless things that do).

Then I moved abroad, and one day I got the accent. I can’t deny that these past two years I have been lucky to meet people that absolutely love the accent and are welcoming to their country. I got a reality check when I started school. I have met my fair share of people, who I am very lucky and fond of (they make sure I am following the classes and understand well, telling me if I ever need help they are a phone call away). I have also met people that roll their eyes and probably wonder how I ever got into the university.
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Avoir l’Accent

Accent: nom masculin
1.  Signe graphique sur une lettre
In English: A mark indicating stress, vowel quality or pitch.
2. L’accent est une particularité de diction d’un locuteur dans une langue donnée. Il est propre à une région ou un milieu social.
In English: A distinctive way of pronouncing a language, especially one associated with a particular country, area, or social class. Continue reading “Avoir l’Accent”

London Skyline

I went to London a few weekends ago with the French man, and being in territory that spoke my language hurt my headI was so excited to be able to explain myself without having to search for words every two phrases. I tried speaking to everyone, meaning from the taxi drivers (most were actually quite, surprisingly nice compared to French taxi drivers), our hotel hostess and the barmen. But it took time to readjust to my own language. It was somewhat of a culture shock to be able to read everything and not have to ask about certain words or look them up in the dictionary (or google translate). I can’t deny that I was excited to hear the English accent as well. Continue reading “London Skyline”

Bajón

Maybe it is the weather. The drizzling rain, the cloudy days, and the countless gray buildings that look more alive in the summer instead of in the cold wind. Maybe it is because this weather does not let me go out and enjoy the streets of Paris like I did when I first arrived here and I feel inclosed. Or maybe, it is something completely, utterly different. Continue reading “Bajón”

I Am a Melting Pot

“Where are you from?”

The hardest question for me to answer. I cringe when I hear those words, I start stuttering over noises that seem to be coming out of my mouth and I start running through all the of places that I have lived the past 19 years of my life (13 to be exact). Ever since I have moved to Paris, I seem to be hearing that phrase more often. Continue reading “I Am a Melting Pot”